Australian Partners

Fishway Consulting Services

Fishway Consulting Services (FCS) is one of the most respected Australian businesses in the field of water management. We develop technical solutions that mitigate ecological impacts of human development in aquatic ecosystems and natural resource management. FCS collaborates closely with engineers, managers and diverse interest groups, to resolve fundamental issues over conflicting issues arising from resource development schemes that are not only site-based but integrate ecological objectives over different spatial scales. These projects have included working with all tiers of government, as well as NGOs and engineering consortia in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, China, Bangladesh and the Mekong. We focus on both small and large projects, having recently led the national fishway technical group that oversaw US$70 mil investment of public funds rehabilitating over 2,000km of river in South Eastern Australia. We take an approach to projects that sustainability is best achieved by understanding the system as a totality; taking a reductionist approach where needed to address key knowledge gaps. We clarify ecological function, develop complex models and integrate eco-physiology with hydrology and hydraulics, undertake engineering design and review and implement on-ground solutions. Initially established as a fish passage specialist, we have diversified into many areas of water management. FCS has a proven track record in both Australia and internationally and we specialist in sustainable water solutions. Our staff and associates are sought after, and represent some of the most respected personnel in aquatic ecology, water management and sustainable infrastructure across the globe. Having access to such a diverse set of backgrounds and skillsets enables us to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the water sector allowing us to work with both industry and government to achieve sustainable solutions.

1. Fishway design: Experts in solutions for upstream fish passage
2. Ecosystem conceptualisation: Understanding and mitigating development impacts on rivers
3. Hydropower design: Design and monitoring of sustainable hydropower schemes
4. Ecological monitoring: Design and implementation of large-scale monitoring programmes
5. Expert advice: Representation on local, national and international expert panels
6. Ecosystem services: Understanding societal value of aquatic resources
7. Fisheries economics: quantifying the economic value of aquatic resources
8. Aquatic biotelemetry: Design and implementation of biotelemetry programmes
9. Project management: Ability to design, manage and implement large scale and big budget projects from
inception to completion
10. Courses and education: on aquatic resources and their management

  • Mekong Delta Study funded by Vietnam Government Emergency Funds
    Empirical assessment of the impact of Mekong mainstream dams on fisheries in the Vietnam Delta and Cambodian floodplain caused by the change in flow regime, loss of flooding patterns, sediment starvation and the barrier effect of the dams, together with development of mitigation options. Work is integrated with parallel studies on biodiversity, livelihoods and socioeconomic impacts.
  • Mekong River Commission, Council study on impact of dams on aquatic resources
    Multidisciplinary analysis of the impact of large scale hydropower schemes in the Lower Mekong basin on biodiversity and fisheries, including social and economic impacts. Analysis is carried out using a Bayesian based model called DRIFT to predict effects of flow regulation and environmental change on fisheries and biota caused by proposed dam development.
  • Development of fish-friendly sustainable hydropower technology guidelines.
    Currently there is little information available to guide construction of fish-friendly hydro systems in a manner which is safe for Lower Mekong species. This project, funded by USAID, is aimed at reducing and preventing fishery declines due to the development of hydropower in the Mekong River Basin. It includes developing critical criterion necessary to for Lower Mekong fish species to survive passage through fish-friendly turbines using a combination of laboratory and field based research, and building the capacity of Lao researchers in the design and implementation of eco-hydraulic research to promote sustainable downstream fish passage solutions at hydropower dams.
  • Wetland Rehabilitation-Lower Mekong
    Our team have build enduring relationships with organisations within the Lower Mekong Basin developing on-ground solutions to irrigation development problems. Funded through the Australian government (ACIAR), we worked with federal and provincial governments to implement on-ground solutions that led to sustainable outcomes. These solutions were recognised by the world bank who incested in larger scale rollout.
  • Murray-River Fishway Assessment
    FCS led an interdisciplinary team to implement the largest river rehabilitation project undertaken in Australia over a ten year period. The work required collaboration among disciplines (engineers, biologists, hydrologists) and governments (state, federal, local) harnessing a range of expertise to implement a $77M pubic funded program.
  • Waterway Categorization and Barrier Identification, prioritization and management
    FCS associated analysed the significance of every stream and irrigation development project to analyse potential ecological impacts across the lower Mekong. Working with the Mekong River Commission and government agencies we developed tools to determine the appropriate mitigations options available for wetland rehabilitation. The project classified all waterways and structures within target catchments to provide government, developers and NGO’s clarity about how to rehabilitate waterway infrastructure.
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